Visualizing Adaptation Experience:

Exploring 'Integrated Analytics' To Learn Lessons From Climate Change in Cabo Verde


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Advancing the Methodology From Academic Exercise to Practical Tool

This work is founded on an innovative, practical method that aims to systematically capture and make sense of the complex context that influences action.  The method provides a meta-taxonomy for organizing information from a range of sources, both structured and unstructured, qualitative and quantitative.  Given that the taxonomy is founded on sociological thinking about the social system – something universal for all societies – it allows us to compare across contexts and see trends related to actors and their actions.  However, the method itself cannot standalone, as one of its benefits is allowing us to “see” things differently.  Vizualizing these insights is critical in order to dive deeper into the analysis. Therefore, after years developing, applying, and adjusting the methodology, this initiative has taken the next step of putting together a user-friendly platform that semi-automates the process.  

Contextualizing Indicators

Throughout the process of applying and semi-automating the methodology used for this initiative, the team recognized the need to ground the work in existing approaches and methods.  This means also taking advantage of information that is already being collected.  One of the most commonly captured information around projects are indicators, commonly used by development practitioners to track progress of ongoing initiatives.  But how is this linked to learning and  visualizing experiences?

Second Working Meetings: Developing the Platform

The second series of working meetings were held at the University of Warwick from 26-28 October. The meetings consisted of in-depth discussions, brainstorming and agreements on a series of issues related to how to consolidate the method and further the development of the platform.  A small group of 9 participants joined the meeting from a range of stakeholder groups (University of Cabo Verde, UNDP, FAO, University of Warwick), bringing a range of expertise to the table, including sociology, agricultural science, data visualization, designers, big data, architecture, climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, ecosystem services and software development.  Even their creativity was tested with playdough!

Presentation at UNDP New York

While passing through New York this week, Jennifer Baumwoll gave a presentation introducing the initiative to UNDP colleagues and to get feedback from these potential users.  In the spirit of “working outloud,” a good discussion was held on how this approach can be sustained beyond 2015 and scaled up.  You can access the powerpoint presentation here:

Launching the Initiative!

From 7-11 September, the team undertook the official launch of this innovation initiative in Praia, Cabo Verde.

The week included an initial training on the “integrated methodology and visual analytics” approach for national stakehodlers, which will be the methodology that underpins the research of this initiative, and discussion on how to design the visual platform.


BLOG: Learning from adaptation experience means breaking down the context

Blog post written by Jennifer Baumwoll, original posted here: UNDP – Our Perspectives

When it comes to climate change adaptation, it is often said that we must identify the lessons learned and share these lessons with other practitioners. Given the enormous challenge posed by climate change, we must constantly ask ourselves: how can we replicate or scale up what works? …

Defining Focus Questions

As described in the overview page of this site, the “Action Intelligence” methodology which underlies the approach to this initiative aims to construct and visualize the socio-cultural “landscape” around a given initiative. Using a specific social taxonomy to organize data – both quantitative and qualitative, from macro to micro, and structured and unstructured, — this approach allows us to make sense of complex social issues and visualize linkages in order to provide new insights into those issues. In other words, when it comes to adaptation action, if we can better understand the context and details surrounding these actions, we will be better able to analyze and learn from them…


Welcome to the blog on the Innovation Initiative “Applying Integrated Methods and Visual Analytics to Learn from Experience on Climate Change Adaptation.” Here you will be able track progress and get updates on the initiative. We will also be posting ideas and insights from core team members, challenges faced along the way, and links to relevant and thought-provoking research behind the methodology.

We are working outloud here, so also want to benefit from your expertise and insight too! Please share your comments, thoughts, criticisms, praises, links and whatever else you find important. This is an open conversation!